“Wilderness biking in the Maine forest with streams, lakes, moose, deer, bears and many challenges.
— Jay Smith
This featured ride is a 25-mile wilderness mountain bike loop. There are stream crossings, branches in your face, and lots of overgrown roads, but all with great views and challenging climbs. Be sure to bring all that you'll need; extra water, food, first aid kit, extra socks - there are no stores along the ride. Hell, there will be no other people. ENJOY!
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, KWWNM, is an 85,000-acre national monument next to Katahdin Mountain. KWWNM is a wilderness park with a network of old woods roads and trails that offer a unique views of Mt. Katahdin and access to streams, lakes, and forest not available for many years. Wildlife is abundant, and the interior of KWWNM can only accessed by hiking and biking in the summer and snowmobile, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter. KWWNM is the gem of the north.
Need to Know
This is not your normal two-hour push, this is 25 miles in Maine Woods wilderness. Wildlife will be there watching so leave nothing behind.
Take 95 North to the Sherman exit and look for Route 11 West. Follow signs to KWWNM on Staceyville Road to Swift Brook Road and the Katahdin Loop Road
. Use the MTB Project mobile app
to follow your location (blue dot) as you get close to the starting point of this loop.
The ride starts at a blocked off woods road (Katahdin Loop Road
and H.I. Trail
). All roads were built by the paper companies and logging landowners and are often in great shape, so rain or shine, the roads are easily traveled.
Other than the overgrown bushes and some minor washouts, you can concentrate on the beautiful views of Mt Katahdin and the many lakes, streams, and woods of Maine. There are several long gradual climbs and two kick-ass climbs. One is the Sandy Stream Trail
section and the other is at the end of the ride on Katahdin Loop Road
from mile 22 to 24 which travels up, up, up.
There are many miles of flowing, discontinued, overgrown roads that turn to grassy roads along the banks of gorgeous streams. On the Four Corners Trail
, there is also some challenging singletrack mixed into the ride and in spots along other trails, too. There is also a major stream crossing. The higher the water table, the higher the water is at the stream crossing. A tip for the stream crossing is to bring extra socks.
At Short’s Cabin, one of the spots along Shorty’s Cabin Trail
that you'll not want to leave, be sure to sign the book in the cabin. Shorty was a long time resident of the area who died in 2016. When you look at the view of Katahdin's Knife Edge towering over Shorty's private lake, you'll know he is in good hands.
Wilderness riding is fun as long as you are prepared and start early. Good Luck!
History & Background
The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was authorized in 2016 by President Barack Obama. Roxanne Quimby of Bert’s Bees fame gave 850 acres to the USA Government to be used by all the people of the country. It is to be used as a wilderness park for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and the enjoyment of all people.